Relax, it’s just polony

By Nthabiseng Mokoena

In recent weeks the country has been grappling with a health scare: Listeriosis. In this piece, NTHABISENG MOKOENA, student and comedian, uses satire to argue why she believes that it is but a passing fad.

Listeriosis this. Listeriosis that. Even people who have been living under a rock have heard all about this terrifying disease. How it is lurking behind tubes of polony in the fridge ready to murder us in our sleep. How it is an attack from White Monopoly Capital or how some people are updating their wills because they ate a few viennas. Imagine that!

Before I continue with this rant, I wish to pass my condolences to those who have perished from this disease and direct them to the attorneys dealing with the class action suit. My views, as insensitive as they may be perceived, are filled with empathy for your loss. To extend this, I share a quote from a favourite character on Game of Thrones “the world is overflowing with horrible things, but they are all a tray of cakes next to death”.

With my conscious clear, I can unapologetically ask: is listeriosis actually something to be concerned about or is it yet another deathly obsession of a bored and too comfortable society, waiting for the next season of The Walking Dead? Yes, I said bored. Have you seen the memes? Even though the trial is long over we still can’t let Reeva rest in peace.

It is really quite concerning to me that in the last few weeks we have placed more attention on listeriosis than we have cancer and diabetes. Which are actually the leading causes of death in South Africa. A report by StatsSA reveals that TB and diabetes are actually the leading causes of death in South Africa.

The fact is that as a society we really have bigger concerns than a bout of flu caused by some bacon bits.

Reports have also indicated that most people would not even know whether they were infected or not. Only children, the elderly and pregnant are likely to feel ill after exposure to listeriosis. To be fair these categories of people are always ill. There is not one of us who has not waited in line for hours on end at the clinic behind the aged, the pregnant or the rambunctious. One of the symptoms of this fugazi is apparently confusion, I can’t help but anticipate a sudden outbreak of listeriosis at university’s all across the world as test week approaches.

The reaction to listeriosis is just another fad. People do tend to over embellish on these fads and turn them into lukewarm memes quickly shared and forgotten on social media.

I’m feeling all kinds of déjà vu right now. We have been through this before with swine flu, bird flu, SARS, anthrax and even the waves from cell phones which are supposed to have fried our brains years ago apparently. The list is endless. Let’s not even go into the time we panicked about the world is coming to an end in 2000 or 2012 to name the two most recent times. Listeriosis is but a current fad in our morbid obsession with our own destruction as a civilization.

And on that note, while others are coming to terms with the unexpected divorce of Bra Polony and Tannie Vetkoek: I’ll have a bacon burger with a side of vienna sausages please. Yes, all Enterprise!

More stories in Issue 96

Contributors

Nthabiseng Mokoena

Nthabiseng Mokoena was born in the Vaal Triangle. She is currently studying Media and Journalism at the University of the Free State with hopes of developing as an English Literature Academic while waiting for the next Game of Thrones book.

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